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Private land, know your limits


(Deon)
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Anyone who has been following the threads on Tokai's trails will know that there has been a lot of progress in terms of Parks' approval. Not all the plans have been made public but the few issues that have popped up have been met with unbelievable support. Once a topic of major frustration, approval for building and maintenance is now better than it has ever been. Could it be down to an improved relationship between Parks and the volunteers as well as better understanding of the requirements of the sport? Regardless of reason, we have come a long way.

 

It's not imagined that this thread will point out the remaining issues and magically find a resolve to the problems we still face, if anything, it should point out what really is the underlying cause for the slow progress over the 10+ years of negotiations. This might even be a good time to thank those who have given so much for this cause, simply put, without them we would have no voice, not just the small voice we have right now...

 

If you have tried mountainbiking you'll surely agree, this is a cool sport; bike, nature and skill. For me, the further I can get away from the city, the better - but for convenience, the closer to the city the better. Tough one for any area, where do you find a park in a city that negates the need to travel great distances? The prime area should have elevation and some tree cover, it should extend far enough to satisfy the need for a workout while still contained that a 2hr workout does not leave you miles from the trail-head. Grabbing a quick after-work ride before sunset should not be a stressful affair, thankfully the car-park is only meters from the first pedal stroke. Gosh, what a cool place is Tokai, it has everything.

 

Take one step back though and very clear topic will present itself. How does this park sustain the sheer 'explosion' of users seen over the last few years. This sport might be regarded as only starting to grow, how does this patch of pristine beauty sustain the numbers without negative impact on the environment?

 

Tokai has given so much to the development of the sport in this country, having earned it's right to be called the "grand-daddy" of trails, it has offered some of the best riding in any town in South Africa. Sure, the years of riding has taken it's toll on on the course, we are after-all still riding some of the trails in existence from day one, but what is it that SANParks wants from us that will ensure the future of the trails and keep us in good standing with the authority that grants us access to the land as guests?

 

Tokai is private land. The regulations that surround it's use are clear. If you have any doubt what the rules pertaining to the use of the land are, you only have to make the smallest effort to read the board at the gate. There are several other places this information made accessible; pamphlets, brochures, websites. They are the same rules as formulated by the international body of mountainbiking, the IMBA, if you still have any doubt, the info is even listed there. It is quite hard to plead ignorance as so much effort has gone into making these regulations known, but unbelievably, almost every meeting sees a large portion of the time allocated to the ignorance of the most basic of all rules, no illegal trail building.

 

This ignorance and lack of respect for the land-owner is serious. It will (read has) jeopardise negotiations and invoke limitations caused by a few inconsiderate people. Progress is the most important topic on the agenda, we can only make progress if we as users are able to show responsibility and take ownership for the trails that are in serious need of attention.

 

If you should encounter trail building and believe it to be illegal, please report it to the ranger on duty. If you are a rogue builder, please make the right choice and remove you tools hidden on the mountain, there is no need to steal time to build when official time will be allocated at regular intervals.

 

-- your comments are welcome, air some of your frustrations and get onto a good base for future progress.

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As a matter of interest, how many riders go through the gate at Tokai on an average weekend day or over a month at the moment?

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Guest Omega Man

I make a point of asking the guys at the gate what the numbers are. According to them they AVERAGE 1200 riders on a weekend.

 

The highest volume of riders happens on a Sunday morning.

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Never mind that how about how many riders jump the fence below silvermine? also how many plead igonorance when they come to the gate and havnt paid saying they will pay next time

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Never mind that how about how many riders jump the fence below silvermine? also how many plead igonorance when they come to the gate and havnt paid saying they will pay next time

 

Wankers should have their bikes confiscated.

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@ Pain & Shine

 

There is still this one itty bitty little root just before my favourite jump that I've been eyeing for demolition..........

 

Just joking, I'll leave my front end loader at home!

 

Great work btw

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Wankers should have their bikes confiscated.

 

 

True that. However I make a point of paying when visiting tokai. Even though I am not involved in the trail building(maybe some day) at least i know or think I am contributing in a different way

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Never mind that how about how many riders jump the fence below silvermine? also how many plead igonorance when they come to the gate and havnt paid saying they will pay next time

 

Yupp. That grates me.

And those people with expired Wildcards who say 'Oh Ja, I must renew mine' and all sorts of excuses for not paying.

 

The Sanparks guy doesn't get paid enough to argue with so many idiots people. He just sighs and lets them through.

Seriously? With all the money spent on your bike and kit, and you cant come up with another R20 for a ride?

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There is quite a lot that goes on 'behind the scenes' with Tokai that few of the 1200 riders notice. Thanks for all the hard work, my wild card is a bargain.

 

The few things that I know must come up every time meetings start:

a)riding off trail - it's all marked and so obvious to see as you leave tracks. I make a point of telling offenders not to do it, usually a 'fu(k you' in return.

b)approaching through chrysalis to escape paying - once again, your tracks are there

c)night riding - once again, you can see the transgressors from the M3 highway on the 4 non access nights.

 

 

what nightriding rules? read below:

***********************************************************************

See enclosed code of conduct for riding at Tokai after hours. Normal rules apply ito access and routes, in addition to the night ride annex.

TOKAI PLANTATION – NIGHT RIDING.

 

 

Code of Conduct:

 

1. Night riding permitted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights only.

2. Be in possession of a valid permit.

3. Sign the register upon entering the gate.

4. Minimum 3 riders per group.

5. Minimum 2 cell phones per group.

6. Each rider to have own light & helmet.

7. Post ride: Sign the register upon exiting the gate.

8. No entry after 20:00

9. All riders to vacate forest before 22:00

10. Parking in arboretum parking area at own risk.

 

In case of emergency:

 

1. For emergency access with a vehicle into the plantation, obtain gate keys from:

Chris Botes (082 411 3544) or Jeff Jacobs (083 3191 401)

2. For serious injuries requiring professional assistance you can contact either:

a. the TMNP emergency number at 0861 106 417

b. or any other emergency service of your choice

 

 

 

 

NB: Night riding is a privilege, granted on a basis of trust between the management of Tokai plantation and the mountain bike enthusiasts.

This privilege will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Should problems arise and a solution between the two parties not reached, the night riding privilege will be revoked.

We appeal to all riders to contribute to the effective and responsible running of this activity.

 

 

 

 

Chris Botes

Senior Section Ranger: Tokai and Cecilia Plantations

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Thanks Pain or Shine. It's a massive privilege to have these trails available.

 

My only constructive comment to all of this is that perhaps there needs to be a way/place for riders to submit new trail ideas. I agree that it's unacceptable for people to cut their own trails. It goes against managing things properly, and lets face it, building a decent, sustainable trail takes serious effort and knowledge.

 

Could there not be a phase of education at Tokai? Perhaps a little A6 flyer handed out over 2 weekends with the rules, contact numbers, who to email with new trail ideas, the park's ethics, maybe a little map on the back. This way it'd stay in the packs, and be a reminder to people.

 

The entrance from Silvermine is a tricky one. Does the Wild Card not cover this too? A lot of riders want easy access to the top trails and the linkup is handy.

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Hey, good start.

 

FYI, a website will be launched, any good API programmers around?.. actually I got no idea what that means, but how cool!

 

Landed some of the best photographers world-wide, super stoked. One top 200 advertising for like 3rd year! They'll be contributing, and writers.. really stoked!

 

Yip, numbers can reach 1200 on a good weekend. The math is :blink: boggling.. MONEY, that's a topic I would imagine needs tact!

 

Really guys, just hold off new trails. Crazy stuff like cutting corners.. huh? Making the trail shorter, when more is what we want? WTF? And funny that build day where we left with more tools than we started?! My long lost rake was found already at the site, AND it started working without me... It REALLY is a good rake, Simon are you reading? ;)

 

Thanks SteveCT for the info. Saw Chris's name and shot back to see what the nick was!! Heart attack moment!

 

This thread is prompted by the response we had today from Chris. His concerns are valid.. The area we are supposed to be working on, a fantastic divert, was shot down by the amount of work done to date. This should never have happened, but as stated earlier, it is a small percentage that really have an impact. We'll just take this as 'supposed to have happened' coz we really are intending that something good comes of this mountain. We seemed to have strayed a bit, but then there are so many new riders, the Tokai etiquette is diluted..

 

Later guys 'n gals.

Edited by Pain or Shine
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@ Pain & Shine

 

There is still this one itty bitty little root just before my favourite jump that I've been eyeing for demolition..........

 

Just joking, I'll leave my front end loader at home!

 

Great work btw

 

As I recall, the front end loader may have met it's match on one seemingly itty-bitty root.. :P

 

Don't worry, been eyeing the height of that angled growler and your point is noted!

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lol. i was waiting for u to mention someone Deon. only took 2 posts :P

 

 

Couldn't resist, but no worries, in my books we're square.. But I'm still looking for the McLeod!

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Couldn't resist, but no worries, in my books we're square.. But I'm still looking for the McLeod!

 

i bet it's lying next to that new track we hacked out, cos that was the last time we used it..no wait. i'm pretty sure we took it up to the vehicles when we were done..nvm. i have a crap memory.. ;)

 

btw: is the build day still happening this sat?

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i bet it's lying next to that new track we hacked out, cos that was the last time we used it..no wait. i'm pretty sure we took it up to the vehicles when we were done..nvm. i have a crap memory.. ;)

 

btw: is the build day still happening this sat?

 

nooit, not that day! Epic prep day, left the tools next to the road to walk the trail. We had like 7 paid staff looking for tools! Crap man!

 

Turns out they were spotted and thrown in a bush.. :huh:

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